Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Case No. 20-0786

James Farnsworth II.
State of Iowa


James Farnsworth II.


State of Iowa

Attorneys for Appellant

Philip B. Mears

Attorneys for Appellee

Kyle Hanson, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 03, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (15 pages)

            James Farnsworth II appeals the district court’s denial of several ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims raised in his postconviction-relief application following a jury trial conviction of second-degree murder, including: (1) counsel’s failure to retain a forensic pathologist; (2) counsel’s failure to state the standard of proof in closing arguments; (3) counsel’s failure to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence; and (4) several other ineffective-assistance grounds that “cumulatively establish the necessary prejudice,” including counsel’s failure to object to the court’s application of the cash portion to Farnsworth’s restitution obligation.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s denial of all the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims except Farnsworth’s claim that his attorney should have objected to the forfeiture of the $50,000 cash bond.  We reverse the district court’s denial of his claim on that ground and remand for return of $50,000 to Farnsworth.

Other Information

Date Further Review is Granted:
Mar 01, 2022
© 2022 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.